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April 2013 Poland

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April 2013 Poland
« on: April 23, 2013, 07:16:52 PM »
Arrived in Szczecin Tuesday afternoon via shuttle from Berlin Tegel Airport...am nervous but somewhat nonchalant at the same time.
As I had posted elsewhere, I've had gynecomastia for more than 20 years and decided to take care of it this year. Thanks CJC85 and all the others who have posted their experiences on this forum. I am using the same clinic here and am slated to go in tomorrow. I'll be posting after its all done and shall provide some details as well...as long as the Internet connection is consistent... :P

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=27434.0

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hammer

Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 07:24:35 PM »
Good luck, and best wishes!

While your there you can look up my relatives. My greatgrandfather came from there in the mid 1800's from Warsaw! I can't spell my last name in Polish but it end in ski!

Anyway, as I said, good luck!


Bob

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Offline CJC85

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Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 05:26:11 AM »
Best of luck mate. You'll be absolutely fine! Let us all know how everything goes


post-op and feeling good
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 04:55:03 PM »
Day 0: Woke up at around 6 am and was in a daze...in Poland of all places. Tomas the taxi driver called at 7:30 am to tell me he'd be at the hotel at 8:45 am to pick me up for the clinic. Upon meeting him, there was another guy going to the clinic as well (will be named "G".) Upon asking Tomas, he informed us that the ultrasound and blood tests would be done in the morning for the procedure at
3 pm today.
 Tomas facilitated the ultrasound for both of us...he took us to the front of the queue and sped the process up. The technician was a cutie to boot! The lab tests were done at another location...expedited by Tomas as well. Back at the hotel by about 10:45 am if memory serves me well.
 G decided to get a good walk in to explore the town...I opted to stay in the lobby. I had checked out since I'll be at the clinic overnight. The receptionist was gracious and allowed me to store my larger luggage bag in the back until I come back and re-check in on Thursday. Mentioning the clinic's name makes everything smoother as all of this is already paid for in full. Remember no food/drink before the blood work! Although I could have eaten before the 3 pm procedure (until 11am), I decided not to as I would not have enjoyed the meal...too nervous.
2:45 pm--Tomas arrived on schedule and we went to the clinic. Dr. Ostrowska-Clark is very pleasant. She is very direct and comforting at the same time, a unique talent. She went over all the general nature of the operation as well as risks. I opted to go first. I was asked to sign a waiver and was then told to give her secretary at the front desk the remainder of the monies. A disposable surgery robe was given to me for wearing and I was led into the OR. G waited in a room with two hospital beds and a sink...this was our recovery room. I had left my clothes and small bag there for use when I come back after its done.
4:15 pm-- I remember lying down on the OR table (at 4:15 pm according to the OR clock) and the anesthesiologist talking to me. An IV line was placed in my right wrist...hurt like hell for a short bit, then fine. I asked what types of sedatives/anesthetics he will be using...fentanyl, propofol, and midazolam were his answers...all common medications. He told me he's giving me some midazolam...ZONKED!! Out like a light...only thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room with a nurse asking me if I wanted any water/if I was in any pain. Drugs are great!!
 No recollection of time...G came back in a wheelchair and got into his bed...if I was wheeled in the same way, I had no memory of it. We were both asked if we wanted anything to eat. G said maybe later, I said yes!! So the nurse and secretary(who speaks better English) come in and ask me what I want...I thought it a trick question, where's the menu?! The secretary suggested salmon and cheese with tomato slices on buttered bread...I said okay but no cheese, add some yogurt and some tea (with citron) and that should be good. The smoked salmon was delicious and very fresh.
 The surgeon, as she was leaving for the night, peeked in and told us both operations went well and that she was very confident in our speedy recovery...definitely a confidence booster.

post-op and feeling good (cont.)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 05:24:31 PM »
Went in and out of sleep all night...G said I snored really loudly..apologized, but I can't control what I do when I am asleep. The nurse came in every several hours to give us IV antibiotics, water for drinking, and medication for pain if needed. She hardly spoke English but communicated well enough...very sweet, caring lady.

Day +1-- We both woke up around 4:30 am...related our experiences to each other and couldn't believe what we were doing...just wanted to see the work. The surgeon came in a few hours later and G went in first...then my turn. Went onto OR table to have vest and drains removed. The dressings were taken off the nipples as well. I was walked over to a full length mirror where I saw my new chest. The surgeon told me to look at the front and then turned me sideways for side profile...amazing...I really wanted to absorb the full effect of what I was seeing but she worked very quickly and asked my opinion. I muttered that it was great...still in a bit of a haze from the long night of recovery. All I could think was wow, excellent work...recalling that moment, I was looking at a relatively normal male with a normal chest...no freakish bulges, no disconcerting shapes. Life seemed to get a little bit better all of the sudden...I know I shouldn't be overconfident, I was just speechless for a moment. So new dressings were placed and the vest was put back on my chest.
 We were given discharge instructions, prescriptions for antibiotics/pain medication/ointment, and another appointment for Friday morning. The antibiotics are to start in the evening today (Thursday) as well as the pain medications as needed. The ointment is for use starting tomorrow once we can shower and massage,etc.
 The surgeon left and we were given breakfast... the same meal for me and I think the famous ham/cheese/tomato open face sandwiches for G. We went to a local apothecary for the medications and the nurse called a taxi to take us back to the hotel.
 We took a long walk in the afternoon exploring the city (noted the Gallery and Kaskada malls where there are a lot of shops in one place.) There are a lot of smaller grocery stores, bistros, cafes, restaurants,and a host of other shops all over town so no need to worry about lack of/variety of convenient stores.
Had dinner in the Atrium Hotel's restaurant...very good and reasonable. So now resting, watching dubbed English movies, and soaking in the experiences in that seem to have happened so quickly.
I peeked under the vest...it tends to slide down when you walk or put your arms behind your head when lying down. The chest looks great...hope the healing/draining/scar tissue and all that stuff goes by quickly and smoothly.
Before going down to dinner, I was putting on a shirt (above the vest of course) and noticed that I didn't automatically check the mirror to see if my chest was noticeable, just checked to see if the shirt was buttoned/collared properly...I can focus on what I am going to do/how I live and interact. Its been a very profound day for me.

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Offline wezzer

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Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 06:08:34 PM »
Awesome to hear man! I hope your new chest brings you the life you want :)

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hammer

Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 07:17:16 AM »
Now be patient, as healing takes time! Follow your post-op instructions, there there for a good reason!

Welcome to the rest of your new life! Congrats!


Bob

Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 03:36:47 PM »
Congrats buddy! I had my surgery yesterday and am beginning the recovery stage now. It is a bit painful and I am still leaking a fair amount of blood, but I am very happy I went ahead with this! Hope your recovery goes well!

another post-op day
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 07:23:53 PM »
wezzer-- I hope so too. Thanks.
hammer--Thanks. Am usually good about post-op advice so no worries.
Bain-- Congratulations. Great feeling, isn't it? Hang in there...the recovery takes time, patience, and discipline.

Day +2-- Had breakfast at the Atrium buffet...it was sufficient, not spectacular but good. We had an 11:30 am appt with the surgeon. Basically, she re-did the dressings and instructed us (individually) on the proper techniques for changing the dressings, massaging the area properly, and manipulating the nipple to heal properly. We were given a small supply of Jelonets and gauze. We both bought some more at the local Apteka (pharmacy) so as to have enough for the remainder of our stay in Poland. We also received an extra binder (the one I had on had some dried blood and I had inquired if they can be washed...they are washable but take a while to dry according to the surgeon, hence the extra one.) She was comfortable in discharging us and reiterated that we can call her if there are any problems/concerns.
 We came back to the hotel around 1 pm. Went for a walk through town...I think its good as it gets your blood pumping, is a bit of exercise and you get a good feel for the layout of the town.
 Came back in about 2 hours and had dinner... the pizza is not bad (at the Atrium) and I had desert this time. The tiramisu is excellent.
 So basically, two and a half more days of Poland before I head back...am taking the antibiotics on schedule. I started back on some of my own personal meds that I had stopped before the procedure as well. Looking forward to showering completely without the binder tomorrow morning. Hope I get the dressing change regimen down effectively. The swelling/bruising is slowly decreasing and the binder still slides down as you do normal activities throughout the day. Need to get a compression vest...the surgeon recommended Macom but couldn't find it easily in the States...will most likely get an Underworks vest (Amazon, the US site, has a good selection and seems similar to the basic vest that is recommended.)
 Side note--we both felt really good that we chose this surgeon and that the trip was well worth it. She seems really ethical and follows up appropriately. Highly recommend the clinic if anyone has second thoughts. Also, a reasonable expectation should be present...every procedure of this sort has potential problems and may not yield "perfect" results. So far, I am pleased and am hoping the recovery goes on without any major problems. The next big date will be removal of the stiches in 12 days time (from the date of the procedure.)
 Almost forgot-- I asked the surgeon (on post-op day 1) if the glands were large. She stated that they were small but there was a lot of fat that was liposuctioned--480 mls from each side (that's a pint from each side!!)
 Can't wait to put on clothes that I've meant to wear for a long time but didn't want to because of the condition...just riding a motorcycle with a t-shirt and not feeling self-conscious is going to be wonderful this summer.

Days 3-4 post-op
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 10:27:06 AM »
Day +3-- Saturday was a bit cloudy and dreary...it had rained late Friday night. Had breakfast buffet at the hotel and stayed in the room until early afternoon for a routine walk. Went by myself and realized I have no sense of direction...  :P But then it is a leisurely walk so no hurry...is really a very laid back city with wide vistas and very walkable thoroughfares. Was able to check out the Gallery Kaskada...very modern/middle-of-the-road fashion sensibilities permeate the stores there. Got some water,green tea, and yogurt at a grocery store on the way back.
Side note-- drinking lots of water seems to get swelling down and manageable overall. I drink green tea for the antioxidants and am taking vitamin C as well.
Had dinner...pork loin is great...at the hotel. Evening was uneventful...the binder/ vest is becoming a real pain to manage at times. The vest should solve the problem of the binder sliding down when walking or raising your arms above your head...should have brought it with me.
Day +4-- Glorious Sunday...weather is wonderful, nice and bright. Took vest off for an hour in the morning...felt really good. Went through routine of changing dressings in the morning (2nd day of doing so) and putting binder back on...is getting easier to do. The routine consists of taking everything off, applying the heparinium ointment all over operated area, applying Jelonets on nipples, placing gauze on top of Jelonets, and putting binder back on top of it all.
Went for a walk around noon...got back around 3:45pm. Getting a bit windier and cooler. One more day to go before getting packed up and heading back.

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Offline wezzer

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Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 02:30:35 PM »
Hey mate, I asked this question on the other thread, but I'm hoping you could tell me. How much has it cost you for the taxis to and from the clinic, the blood tests and sonogram and the prescriptions meds that you had to get? I really need to know so I can make sure I have enough money. Cheers!

approx costs
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 09:43:58 PM »
wezzer-- I'll try to give you a good estimate of the costs...some things to remember-I flew in from the United States so that will be really up to your flight/airline choice as I don't know the costs from the UK. I'll put all the prices in zlotys (you can covert it to pounds according to the current rate.)
Here it goes: Procedure(lipo+gland removal)= 7250 zlotys, Ultrasound= 150 zl, Blood tests= 100 zl, Hotel Atrium (I stayed 6 nights)= 1420 zl, taxi rides (minimum of 4 rides at about 15 zl/ride)= 60 zl, antibiotics/pain meds/ointment= approx. 100 zl, gauze/Jelonet dressings/peroxide cleanser (for about 7 days worth)= approx 50 zl. So the grand total comes to 9130 zlotys.
(note: My shuttle ride to/from Berlin Tegel airport came to 160 zl...not included in the totals above.)

Hope that helped.

post-op days/back home
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 10:11:48 PM »
Day +5 and +6-- Monday...is last day I'll be in Szczecin. Had breakfast, took an afternoon walk, and went to the Galaxy Mall. Not as upscale as Gallery Kaskada but still a nice place. The Real Hypermarket at the Galaxy Mall is tremendous, lots of foodstuffs and everything imaginable. Is also closer to the Atrium Hotel. G stayed for a few more hours and went off to catch his taxi ride to the local airport to go home to the UK. It was great having another person around to share stories/experiences related to this condition and, of course, other interests. Just lucked out that he happened to be there as well.
Tuesday...I had a late shuttle ride to Berlin Tegel...1:30 am to be exact. Taxi came on time as arranged, took me to a bus that had about 15-20 people already waiting to go to Berlin (Tegel Airport)...about 10 more people came on board and we left at 2 am. Listened to music while going to airport and thought about a lot of things, especially the experiences I just had. A surreal feeling gave way to relief that the procedure went ahead without any complications. Thankful that it was done well and hoping to heal up in the next few weeks. Arrived at Tegel at 4:30 am. Flight was in 3 hours...had a lot of time to pass...flight on time--Berlin to Munich...then to Newark (in the States.)
Day  +7-- The binder is really painful and not that effective in what it is supposed to do for me. It routinely slides down below that operated area and feels more like a corset that stays below the chest area...so I took it off for the last flight (Munich to Newark) and it felt really good not to have that restricted feeling. Wednesday morning I did a dressing change and placed it on again...tried it in reverse, i.e. turned it upside down and bound my chest...worked a lot better and stayed in place for a lot longer while I was back home and doing errands. Did notice a lot of what I am assuming is scar tissue underneath both nipples. Did a mild massage...don't think I should do an aggressive massage as some of the areas under the nipples that were stitched are still healing over so don't want to cause any bleeding. After a little bit of massage, I could feel that the lumpy scars were pliable/like hard clay...somewhat receptive to massage but still thick and slowly firming up. I ordered some compression vests and hope they help push down on these areas even more consistently throughout the day. I think if these vests work properly, and with routine/daily massaging, the scar tissue  should eventually flatten and give way to better results.
(I felt like you did, CJC85, somewhat dejected, but as the other guys had mentioned, it should heal up nicely after a few months if you massage and use vests as recommended.)

Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 02:45:05 AM »
I am on day 7 of recovery with Karidis now.... At the moment the chest still looks weird and is not a normal shape for a chest but I believe this is all swelling and scar tissue and should go down soon. I can't wait for a weeks like when I can take this thing off!

Re: April 2013 Poland
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 03:21:24 AM »
Glad all is going well mate. Its really good to hear these reports. My biggest worry is scar tissue pushing the nipple out making it look like puffy nipples again.

It would be great to see some before and after pictures


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